Seattle Bus Accident Wrongful Death Lawyers
When a car or pedestrian is hit by a bus, the injuries are often catastrophic or fatal. Bus drivers are required to undergo specialized training and certification before being legally allowed to operate a bus. Unfortunately, the training means nothing if the driver is texting, tired, drunk, speeding, or fails to operate the vehicle safely.
If you’ve lost a loved one in a fatal bus accident, you may feel it is important that the responsible party is held accountable. At Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., we couldn’t agree more. We represent the families of innocent people who lost their lives through an act of negligence, including bus accidents, and we take our duty to the grieving family very seriously. Our award-winning team immediately goes on the offensive, investigating every detail of the accident, and moving forward with a claim or lawsuit to hold the responsible parties accountable.
The first step in filing a wrongful death case is determining liability. In many cases, it’s not just one person or organization – it may be a combination of the driver, bus company, and even bus and part manufacturers. Some of the common causes of fatal bus crashes include:
- Distracted driving (texting, eating, talking, or otherwise having attention off the road)
- Driving under the influence
- Driving while fatigued
- Inadequate training and lack of experience
- Poorly maintained roads
- Manufacturing defects
- Insufficient or improper bus maintenance
A full investigation of the facts in the collision must be performed, particularly in a case involving fatal injuries. The NTSB, or National Transportation Safety Board, is often involved in investigating fatal bus accidents, issuing an analysis in six to eight weeks. The NTSB report, police report, and other evidence is powerful support for a wrongful death claim.
In a recent year, a bus driver was caught texting while driving his bus for six minutes up until he rear-ended a driver in front of him. His bus was equipped with a camera that caught him on tape, a perfect example of what happens every day throughout the US. Some of the statistics on bus accidents include:
- Every year, about 63,000 accidents occur that involve buses
- Of those 63,000, 325 of them involved fatal injuries
- Of those 325 fatalities, 275 were pedestrians or other drivers impacted by a bus
- A 2011 National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) study noted than in 2009, buses and other commercial motor vehicles are more likely to cause a fatal accident than other registered vehicles.
When a loved one is killed in a fatal bus accident due to the negligence of another party, the close family members can pursue wrongful death compensation. While we understand that no amount of money can balance the loss of a spouse, child, sister, brother, or other loved one, compensation can help ease the burden and help the family move forward. Wrongful death compensation usually includes:
- The costs of medical care prior to death
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of the victim’s earnings
- Lost benefits (such as medical coverage, pension plans, and others)
- Personal support the victim would have provided to the family
- Emotional anguish, pain, and suffering
- Loss of the care, companionship, and protection of a loved one
- Lowered quality of life due to the absence of a loved one
- Loss of consortium (the unique loss of a spouse losing their significant other)
If you and your family suffer the loss of a loved one in a bus accident, the first step to take is to retain an experienced Seattle wrongful death attorney. Insurance companies may try to take advantage of the confusion and grief you’re experiencing and offer to settle your claim for a fraction of what you deserve.
At Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., we provide the personal and legal assistance you need, taking on the responsibility of seeking compensation so you can grieve in peace while we fight to hold those responsible accountable for their actions. We offer a no-fee guarantee, meaning you owe us no legal fees unless we win your case. Contact us today at (425) 228-3860 or toll-free (888) 228-3860 to schedule a free consultation.
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